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Russian marines to get BMP-3F IFV infantry fighting vehicles.

| 2021

Two marine battalions will be equipped with BMP-3F infantry fighting vehicles (IFV). Pacific fleet marines will be the first to get them. One battalion will be equipped in each of the two brigades. Previously, the IFV modification was only exported. The hardware will increase the firepower and mobility of marines in the Far East, the Izvestia daily writes.
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BMP-3F IFV (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The supplies of the new vehicles will begin in 2021. They will be initially supplied to the 40th Marine Brigade in Kamchatka. Acting Commander of the 155th Brigade in Primorye Captain 2nd rank Igor Tatarchenko earlier said his unit would also receive BMP-3F shortly.

The vehicles were for the first time landed from an amphibious assault ship at Opuk range during the strategic Caucasus-2020 command-staff exercise in September 2020. The experiment was successful.

Much attention is paid to marine rearmament. The troops have lately received BTR-82A APCs, T-80BV tanks, and upgraded BMP-2Ms. The hardware was engaged in an exercise in the Far East in August 2020. Marines for the first time landed in the Chukotka Peninsula from sea and air. The bilateral brigade maneuvers engaged close to 4,000 men and over 800 hardware units.

“In Soviet time, the 55th Marine Division in Primorye began to receive the basic BMP-3 modification,” expert Dmitry Boltenkov said. “One battalion was re-equipped, but the process stopped in the 1990s. Modern naval options have powerful arms — two guns and several machineguns. The firepower is several times higher than BTR-82’s one. They also have better armor. It is important for amphibious assault vehicles. The tracked vehicles have better cross-country capacity. It is important for the Pacific coast which is unfit for wheeled hardware”, he said.

Marines are receiving tanks and self-propelled guns for new missions. “Marines are a part of the rapid reaction force. The units can embark a warship and sail to any place in the world. Heavy weapons help independently fulfil any mission”, Boltenkov said.

Russian marines are 12,000-13,000-men strong. Three fleets have one brigade each and the Pacific fleet has two brigades. The Caspian flotilla has one regiment created in 2018. The Defense Ministry said hardware provision of the marines is kept at a 100-percent level. All units are constantly ready for action and comprise the backbone of the Russian rapid reaction force together with the airborne troops.

Each brigade has two-three marine battalions and one assault battalion. Some soldiers train parachute jumps. However, marines have a heavier structure against paratroopers, as they operate more armor. Many units have tanks, self-propelled artillery guns, and antiaircraft missiles. Some brigades operate Grad MLRS.

The delivery means for marines are to be upgraded. It was planned to deploy Mistral universal amphibious assault ships in the Pacific Ocean. The necessary infrastructure was created for them.

An ordinary BMP-3 for the Ground Forces can float, enabling it to cross only rivers and small water reservoirs. Designers had to upgrade the vehicle. The air intake was installed on an extendable telescopic pipe. Wave-resistant shields were mounted on the hull and turret to increase floating stability. The vehicle can now be engaged in a 3-force sea. It can float seven hours at a speed of 10 km/h. The tracked vehicle can reach 70 km/h on road and 45 km/h off road.

Self-entrenching equipment was removed to decrease the weight. The vehicle received no additional armor designed for ground BMP-3. However, the naval modification retained the firepower of the ground option. The 100mm low-ballistic gun can fire pointblank and by a high trajectory. The gun can also launch antitank missiles. There are also a 30mm automatic gun and machineguns.

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